Rush Announces $133 Million Rail Project for Englewood
CONTACT: Renee Ferguson
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WASHINGTON –– U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (IL-01) today announced that the final hurdle to begin construction of a $133 million rail project, based in Chicago’s Englewood community, has been cleared.
The Federal Railroad Administration has obligated the funding to the Illinois Department of Transportation for work on the Englewood flyover bridge. This project is a critical part of CREATE, the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program, a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation, the State of Illinois, City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak and the nation's freight railroads.
The bridge is designed to reduce delays of freight and passenger trains that result from a bottleneck at the Norfolk Southern/METRA Rock Island line interlock near 63rd and State Streets. The new bridge will carry Metra trains over the NS/Amtrak tracks at that location.
This project will bring significant and broad-based opportunities for Chicago and minority businesses according to Congressman Rush who was among the leadership that helped bring the project to his district. “I appreciate the cooperation and enlightened leadership of all the parties involved in our negotiations. In particular I am especially grateful for the work of the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, Joe Szabo, who was a key player in moving this project forward.
“I also want to thank my friend and colleague Congresswoman Corrine Brown, Ranking Democratic Member of the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, for her invaluable support and leadership in assisting me in this process.”
In response, Congresswoman Brown said, “The Englewood flyover project is a vital component in moving CREATE forward and will generate thousands of good paying jobs at a critical time. Eliminating these significant bottlenecks will improve congestion throughout our entire national rail network and improves the delivery of goods and services to every state.”
The flyover impacts the 1st Congressional District and the Chicago Region in several important ways:
- 1,450 new construction jobs
- shorter trip times for passengers
- environmental and health benefits from fewer idling locomotives
- lays the foundation for high speed passenger rail that will serve the south and east of Chicago into Union Station
The bridge represents the second stage in Congressman Rush’s transportation vision for the 1st Congressional District. The first stage was successfully completed just this year with the opening of the Lou Jones/Bronzeville Metra Station at 35th and Federal on the South Side of Chicago. Rush secured $4.9 million in federal funds to complete that project.
“We anticipate breaking ground for the flyover during the current construction season. I will be working hard to ensure that businesses and residents of the first congressional district will be afforded every opportunity to work and obtain contracts,” Rush said.
The project will be paid for through federal stimulus funds. It is the result of two years of negotiations between the Norfolk Southern, the FRA, METRA, Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation that began shortly after a meeting was convened by Congressman Rush. Major stakeholders involved in that March, 2010 meeting included Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and, then, Chairman James Oberstar of the House Transportation Committee.
Other details of this exciting project will be forthcoming.
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